Advice from a Tree
This poem is quoted from the Alzheimer Association Newsletter for Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitators., Desert Southwest Chapter, Central Arizona Region .Stand tall and proud, sink your roots into the earth,
Be content with your natural beauty.
Go out on a limb, drink plenty of water
Remember your roots,
Enjoy the view.
At this holiday time although we decorate our homes and prepare lavish entertainments for our out-of-town relatives and friends, we also need to stand tall and proud even if we are caring for a loved one whose skills have declined since the last visit. If we pretend to hide, if we try to “protect” ourselves from the “intrusion” and advice of our loved ones, we do so at a very high cost to ourselves and perhaps to our loved ones.
Adult children and grandchildren of all ages will respond to the behavior they witness and they will perhaps withdraw if they sense the parent is less engaged than before. If visits decline, the caregiver’s life is further narrowed as well as our loved one’s life. Parents often feel that children have no need to know “personal” information. When we become caregivers that role shifts and those difficult conversations need to occur. If your roots are established, your wishes will be too.
Go out on a limb, test the waters, see if your parents or other older relatives will listen to suggestions to obtain assistance with skills of daily living, ask if they have wills and powers of attorney and medical proxies in place in accordance with the state in which they live, if it is different from your own where this paperwork may well have been written in the past.
Remember your roots, tell old stories, keep family traditions alive and enjoy the visits.